AirAsia flight QZ8501: Tony Fernandes sends out personalised messages thanking customers

AIRASIA boss Tony Fernandes has sent personalised messages thanking customers of the airline, pledging that the airline will overcome the crisis from the crash of flight QZ8501, which went down on Dec 28 en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya.

The accident, the first major setback for the Malaysia-based airline after 13 years of success, has given rise to accusations by the Indonesian authorities that the airline had no permit to fly the route on a Sunday and a rebuttal by Mr Fernandes' office that the airline did.

The Transportation Ministry suspended AirAsia's flight permit for the Surabaya-Singapore route on Jan 2 over the alleged violation.

But Mr Fernandes, in the e-mail message sent out on Tuesday apparently to registered passengers who had booked AirAsia flights, said the airline was "committed to reviewing and improving our products and services", and would provide customers "nothing but the best".

He also gave thanks for the "warmth and support" and "messages of love and encouragement" shown during "the most difficult weeks" of his life since starting the airline.

Resolving to provide updates of the investigation, Mr Fernandes added: "Even in our toughest times, we will continue to be the world's best and be better for you."

The message came as search teams retrieved the flight data recorder of the plane, one part of the black box, in the Java Sea on Monday, and reports said the other part, the cockpit voice recorder, was found on Tuesday, 20m away from the first part.

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